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Certas Energy accelerates growth in renewables sector with Hafod acquisition

Ryan Niblock

Fuel and lubricants distributor Certas Energy has expanded its presence in the renewable energy sector with the acquisition of a business based in North Wales.

Corporate finance firm Cleveland Scott has advised Hafod Renewable Energy on its sale to Warrington-based Certas Energy. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Hafod is the second major investment made by Certas Energy in the last six months to grow its renewable solutions offering.

In late 2022, the company acquired Preston-based Freedom Heat Pumps, a distributor of air source and ground source heat pump equipment.

Hafod, which was founded in 2010 by managing director David Jones and his late father Richard, supplies sustainable energy solutions such as air source heat pumps, solar panels, EV chargers and underfloor heating to domestic, commercial and agricultural customers across North Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

Ryan Niblock, corporate finance director at Warrington-based Cleveland Scott, advised Hafod on its sale to Certas Energy.

He said: “It was a pleasure advising David on the sale of Hafod Renewable Energy to Certas Energy.

“We received multiple offers for Hafod, but Certas Energy was the standout party from our first interaction with them. The Certas Energy team were great to deal with throughout the process, and they will be the perfect partner for Hafod.

“David has built a fantastic business which has developed an unrivalled reputation in North Wales and north west England. We wish both parties every success in the future.

“There is a great deal of interest in the sector, which still has significant scope for growth as the UK transitions to renewable energy.”

David Jones said: “Cleveland Scott worked really hard and efficiently in finding the right buyer, negotiating the structure of the deal and ensuring due diligence progressed smoothly.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Ryan, who managed the process so well it meant I could carry on leading the business day-to-day to ensure we were meeting our financial targets for the buyer.”

Other advisers acting on behalf of Hafod were Powell Accountants and a team at Napthens Solicitors which included Kieran Donovan, Victoria Bromiley, Evie Hubble, Suzanne Mainwaring and Stephanie Gray.

Certas Energy, which is owned by Dublin-based DCC Group, is the largest distributor of fuel, lubricants and related services in the UK with a national network of over 130 depots, more than 900 tankers, over 80 retail forecourts and HGV refuelling sites and fuel cards usable at over 3,000 sites.

It also provides a diversified and growing range of sustainable energy solutions and services to help customers optimise their operations and support them on their energy transition journeys to reduce emissions and achieve net zero carbon status.

These include energy consultancy, alternative fuel options and improving fuel management with telemetry and telematics.

Steve Little, managing director at Certas Energy, said: “Transitioning homes and businesses towards cleaner energy options to create a more sustainable future will require a combination of technologies and services.

“We’re dedicated to developing and investing in our business model to do exactly that.

“The latest acquisition of Hafod Renewable Energy is testament to our unwavering commitment to powering the energy transition and we are excited for the significant contribution it will make to Certas Energy and our customers.

“By expanding our portfolio, growing our renewables division and harnessing industry-leading expertise, we are confident that we can continue to drive meaningful change.”